Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Ode to Joy

Written November 2012, the day after the election. Unfinished, but I decided to post it anyway.

Today was a good day. It started out with me oversleeping.  Then I drove my car into a ditch.  Then I barely made it to an event where most of the attendees looked and acted like parolees.  Then I treat myself to a nice lunch, only to receive an email asking me to make a return trip to the hell I left behind.  Then I got back to my car and discovered a ticket.

Then I look at on Facebook page and learn that some of my acquaintances were none too happy about the election results.  One person was downright petulant about her disappointment.  It inspired me to write a piece that I want to post over at the Busy Black Woman blog as soon as I finish my venting here.

The husband returned from Chicago, so I suggested to my Mom that we should pick him up and then stop by the Newseum to see the front page newspapers from all over the country.  She was enthusiastic and went upstairs to change into warmer clothes.  For a whole hour.  When she returned, she had changed into clothes more suitable for warmer weather.  And when I suggested that she might need to change back into something heavier, I got the usual "I'm-fine-because-I'm-in-denial-about-everything" response, so I dropped it.

The husband responds to my parking ticket with his version of righteous indignation--I was reckless in making the mistake to take Metro when there is no downtown street parking.  So I recklessly parked the car in front of the federal courthouse in the spaces reserved for the U.S. Marshals and recklessly threw him the keys for him to find a more suitable spot and then recklessly escorted my inappropriately dressed mother down to the Newseum to see the newspaper headlines.  Then I guess it was reckless of me to insist that I would continue to take photos despite her complaints about the cold since she had on her summer pants in 30 degree temperatures. 

And I guess my recklessness is to blame for everything from that stupid parking ticket to the intentional efforts by some newspapers to ignore the election results.

Why me? Why me? Why me?  Not asking that question about any of the other crappy stuff that ruined my day, but why me when it comes to dealing with this very ugly, selfish, and completely unreasonable side of dementia?  Why is it that no matter what I do, I always get this nasty back-handed slap upside my head to remind me that I am fat, that I am awkward, that I am always late, that I am a bad driver, and that I occasionally make mistakes?

Why?  Does anyone fucking understand why this sucks?  How hard it is to try and fail every single time because there is this invisible force that is determined to cause chaos and confusion?  And instead of being able to pick a fight to hash it all out, I am supposed to keep swallowing the bitter pill with no one really giving a shit about the bad taste it leaves in my soul. 


According to the calendar I have not posted anything to this blog since November, and nothing to the Busy Black Woman blog since my birthday in December.  There are plenty of excuses I could offer, but I will just tell the truth: I have not felt like writing.  Or whenever I tried, the result was crap so I would abandon the effort.  And so here we are months later and I don't really see any chance for improvement. 

Plenty of things have happened to me in the past few months that stirred a desire to write, but not the will to follow through.  Quite frankly, I have nothing left to say except that my life is still in the same holding pattern that it has hovered in since the last decade.

I was compelled to write today to express my disgust for a situation that I will find myself enduring in the near future because that is just the way the universe works.  Unpleasant and odious situations (and people) are inescapable.  And for whatever reason, I am once again pitted against a situation/person that I find utterly detestable.

This situation/person is kind of a metaphor for other aggravations I face, like my mother's illness or my dismal finances.  I try, but these situations never improve (despite all of the well-meaning, but often useless suggestions offered by others).  I often feel that there is no refuge.

Thus, while writing that last sentence, I went on an internet search for some poem, quote or Bible verse that I could repeat to myself or maybe a tune to hum whenever I feel this way.  Of course, I found the usual insipid attempts at encouragement: suck it up because things could be worse.

True, I could have cancer. Or I could be homeless. Or I could be a homeless person with cancer. I get that for a lot of people out there, life is really, really hard.  But honestly, has anyone ever felt better after receiving one of those pep talks?

Because at the moment when I find myself caught between the Red Sea or an avenging Pharaoh's army, I do not want my attention diverted to some random parable that is supposed to put my problem into perspective.  For at that precise moment of impending doom in my life, someone else's problems are exactly that.

The Red Sea reference comes from a song that I hear every Sunday (now that I am back in church), Let the Church Say Amen, by Andrae Crouch.  I like that song, so maybe it will become part of that calming repertory of songs/poems/etc...and perhaps it will bring me some measure of comfort when I come face to face with either a nearly impossible obstacle or I am being chased by an unrelenting enemy.

In the story of Moses and the Israelites, God performs a miracle that parts the Red Sea.  My problem is when there is no forthcoming miracle...what then?  Dementia. Bankruptcy. Infertility. Estrangement. Chronic Anxiety. Depression. Unpleasant confrontations with miserable people. Failure. Destruction.

Courage? Fortitude? Resolve? Redemption?